Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
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13-11-2013, 02:46 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
I'm usually picky about who throws the dice for me Wink


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13-11-2013, 03:11 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
Oh Mama! Some hot ear-thigh action coming up!

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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13-11-2013, 03:11 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 02:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 01:35 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  This is due to the uncertainty principle and not some interaction.

Yeah. Sure.

Except no.

The uncertainty principle is a consequence of the nature of the interactions.

I literally just explained how that works. Several times in this thread.

The uncertainty principle concerns itself with our ability to know precisely the value of two complimentary variables such as position and momentum. Our lack of knowledge of a variable is not a consequence of some interaction of these two variables but rather a consequence of OUR interaction with the thing being observed.
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13-11-2013, 03:22 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 03:11 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The uncertainty principle concerns itself with our ability to know precisely the value of two complimentary variables such as position and momentum.

Yes. We cannot know both simultaneously because both cannot exist simultaneously.

Where did you learn quantum mechanics?

(13-11-2013 03:11 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Our lack of knowledge of a variable is not a consequence of some interaction of these two variables but rather a consequence of OUR interaction with the thing being observed.

Yeah, but that's wrong.

Things exist as combinations of wave functions. Interactions of those wave functions physically change them.

That whole "well we can't know, but they're still defined somehow anyway" bit? That old schtick you're using here?

I... guess you don't realize what you're doing.

Because that's precisely the sort of hidden variable business we (I say 'we' generally but I remind you that in this case it includes you) have already discounted in this very thread.

So I have to ask: just what exactly are you attempting to argue? Just what do you believe here?

It's not coming across very coherently.

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13-11-2013, 03:34 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 03:22 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 03:11 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The uncertainty principle concerns itself with our ability to know precisely the value of two complimentary variables such as position and momentum.

Yes. We cannot know both simultaneously because both cannot exist simultaneously.

Where did you learn quantum mechanics?

(13-11-2013 03:11 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Our lack of knowledge of a variable is not a consequence of some interaction of these two variables but rather a consequence of OUR interaction with the thing being observed.

Yeah, but that's wrong.

Things exist as combinations of wave functions. Interactions of those wave functions physically change them.

That whole "well we can't know, but they're still defined somehow anyway" bit? That old schtick you're using here?

I... guess you don't realize what you're doing.

Because that's precisely the sort of hidden variable business we (I say 'we' generally but I remind you that in this case it includes you) have already discounted in this very thread.

So I have to ask: just what exactly are you attempting to argue? Just what do you believe here?

It's not coming across very coherently.

Are you claiming that a particle can have position or can have momentum, but can't have both at the same time? I don't think that is right, but admittedly my education on quantum mechanics comes from a cracker jack box. My understanding is that for a particle both momentum and position exist, they always exists, and that our simultaneous knowledge about those two variables is what can't exist.
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13-11-2013, 04:14 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 03:34 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Are you claiming that a particle can have position or can have momentum, but can't have both at the same time?

It always has both, yes, but they can't both simultaneously exist as well-defined singular values.

(13-11-2013 03:34 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  My understanding is that for a particle both momentum and position exist, they always exists, and that our simultaneous knowledge about those two variables is what can't exist.

That's not quite so. I thought I had gone over this in the examples I mentioned earlier.

Let us return again to the spin-1/2 particle. We measure z-spin. Therefore we know precisely what the z-spin is. But here's the catch - we also know precisely what the x-spin is! And the x-spin is a linear combination of x-up and x-down. Measuring the z-spin resolves it to one of its eigenstates (because that's what measurement operators do). And x-spin?

It does not have a single value. It exists (exactly and precisely and demonstrably!) as the combination. The only real coin toss in the universe.

There's no missing knowledge there. That is everything it's possible to know at any one time. The exact description in any given basis. A particle of spin-1/2 in an x-up state is simultaneously in an equal superposition of z-up and z-down. It just is - that's all there is to it. And the amazing/terrifying thing is, knowing everything there is to know (in the quantum universe) does not tell us everything we'd expect to know in a classical universe.

You don't have to like the idea Tongue. Nobody liked it at first (you may know Einstein hated it!) - but nobody can disprove it. In 90 years of modern quantum mechanics...

It's supposing otherwise that's sneaking hidden variables in. That the limits on what we can know are on us instead of being on the nature of the universe itself. Or, in other words, quantum mechanics should follow classical rules. Alas, but no.

...

Position and (linear) momentum are essentially similar. Since they exist as bundles of wave functions (this is the foundational premise of quantum mechanics!) then, for the same particle, we may consider position-space and momentum-space to be two complementary ways of describing it. (momentum-space is simply the space spanned by momentum vectors instead of position vectors - a traditional physics way of looking at things, but a bit of a wonky idea when first encountered).

But the two are related (one is proportional to the rate of change of the other). Now, they are waves, and so their rate of change is contained in (what is basically equivalent to) their frequency. So, shifting back and forth through domains is done via Fourier transforms (an extremely useful and beautiful mathematical tool). (and actually all of what looks like an application of Fourier methods is actually itself demonstrably a consequence of how wave functions - eg position and momentum - are defined in the first place).

If position is precisely known, the description of position in space looks like a delta function (it exists at one single point, and is zero elsewhere). What, then, is its momentum? That is, mathematically speaking, what does the transform look like? The answer is that it looks very complicated. It is composed of a combination (a spectrum, really, since we're dealing with continuous variables...) of all possible momentum vectors. Therefore by insisting on an exact value for position the state must have an infinite variety of possible momenta. The same applies in reverse; a single exact momentum requires an infinite spread of positions. (in real life we can't actually know anything to such exact precision - but the uncertainty relations deal with the product of uncertainties).

Born, one of the early quantum physicists/mathematicians, actually has the canonical commutation relation inscribed on his gravestone. Big Grin

...

And like I said, if you really want to insist on the ol' God of the Gaps, you've just framed the wrong question.
"Why randomness?" has an answer.
"How randomness?" does not. So feel free to say 'God' until science gets there.

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13-11-2013, 04:20 PM (This post was last modified: 13-11-2013 06:08 PM by Rahn127.)
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
When it comes to uncertainty, I am uncertain if there is inherent uncertainty or if it's simply the way in which we attempt to detect each of the values.

If you are bouncing a photon off an electron to determine it's position, the very act of "bouncing" (non technical term) is also altering the position and momentum of that electron, but you can gain one of the values you are looking for.

http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes...ciple.html

The uncertainty isn't inherent. The uncertainty comes from our methods of detection
As those methods change, we'll get a more accurate view.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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13-11-2013, 05:32 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 03:22 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(13-11-2013 03:11 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The uncertainty principle concerns itself with our ability to know precisely the value of two complimentary variables such as position and momentum.

Yes. We cannot know both simultaneously because both cannot exist simultaneously.

Where did you learn quantum mechanics?

(13-11-2013 03:11 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Our lack of knowledge of a variable is not a consequence of some interaction of these two variables but rather a consequence of OUR interaction with the thing being observed.

Yeah, but that's wrong.

Things exist as combinations of wave functions. Interactions of those wave functions physically change them.

That whole "well we can't know, but they're still defined somehow anyway" bit? That old schtick you're using here?

I... guess you don't realize what you're doing.

Because that's precisely the sort of hidden variable business we (I say 'we' generally but I remind you that in this case it includes you) have already discounted in this very thread.

So I have to ask: just what exactly are you attempting to argue? Just what do you believe here?

It's not coming across very coherently.

Gotta disagree with you on this. The uncertainty is a product of measurement, it is not inherent in the particle. Heisenberg said it.
"It can be expressed in its simplest form as follows: One can never know with perfect accuracy both of those two important factors which determine the movement of one of the smallest particles—its position and its velocity. It is impossible to determine accurately both the position and the direction and speed of a particle at the same instant."

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-11-2013, 05:36 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 04:20 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  When it comes to uncertainty, I am uncertain if there is inherent uncertainty or if it's simply the way in which we attempt to detect each of the values.

If you are bouncing a photo off an electron to determine it's position, the very act of "bouncing" (non technical term) is also altering the position and momentum of that electron, but you can gain one of the values you are looking for.

http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes...ciple.html

The uncertainty isn't inherent. The uncertainty comes from our methods of detection
As those methods change, we'll get a more accurate view.

It is not likely that we will - the uncertainty and the accuracy are physically connected.

To increase accuracy in the measurement of one variable, one must increase the energy of the probing particle. This causes greater inaccuracy in the knowledge of the other variable.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-11-2013, 05:53 PM
RE: Who or what throws the dice for atheists?
(13-11-2013 05:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  Gotta disagree with you on this. The uncertainty is a product of measurement, it is not inherent in the particle. Heisenberg said it.
"It can be expressed in its simplest form as follows: One can never know with perfect accuracy both of those two important factors which determine the movement of one of the smallest particles—its position and its velocity. It is impossible to determine accurately both the position and the direction and speed of a particle at the same instant."

What you and Rhan are talking about is the Observer effect which is not the same as uncertainty.
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